The two best teams in the Class 2A Northwest Conference looked like they were playing each other’s shadows Thursday night at Civic Stadium.
One minute, a Bellingham (10-2-1 overall, 8-1-1 Class 2A NWC) forward streaked down the left side of the pitch racing toward a goal that was eventually turned away. The next, Sehome (8-2-3 overall, 7-1-2 2A NWC) raced the other way with a numbers advantage only to have its shot attempt be swallowed by Bellingham senior Britney Butcher.
Even the two goals scored in the match came just seconds within each other as Bellingham and Sehome tied 1-1 in a battle that could decide who wins the district title.
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Ten minutes into the second half, Kaelyn Devaney found Eden Fawcett who drilled the ball into the back of the net for the first goal of the game.
Not even 10 seconds after Fawcett put Bellingham on the board, Sophia Pagnotta took a touch from a teammate and shot a low scorcher past Butcher to knot the game at 1-1.
Slow first half
Sehome pressured early, leading to Kyrene Eddy taking a corner kick within the first five minutes that was knocked away by Bellingham defenders. The Red Raiders responded with a counter-attack ending in a Peyton Schwinger free kick that Sehome forwards were called offside for.
Jillian Langei took a corner kick in the 11th minute that Schwinger flipped toward the net but sailed just over the crossbar.
After Sophia Pagnotta was taken down around the 20-yard mark, Gracey Henoch took a free kick that Bellingham goalie Britney Butcher knocked into the air and then leapt to secure.
Melvin exits early
Sehome’s goalie, Jessica Melvin, was kneed in the head saving a shot in the 29th minute and forced to exit the game. Junior back-up Mazzy Robinson took the reins and saved multiple attempts.
Bellingham’s defense did a good job of denying Sehome’s leading scorer Pagnotta the ball until she got even at the beginning of the second half.
Wright on the mic
Former Red Raiders coach Mark Wright, who stepped away from the team this year, gave the pre-game introductions on Bellingham’s senior night. The four seniors – Britney Butcher, Allison Krell, Lucy Mantha and Peyton Schwinger – each got special introductions from the man that had coached them their first three years.